When it come to pasta sauces, I’ve always been biased towards tomato based sauces for their lightness. Nothing tastes as juicy, tangy and satisfying as a good tomato based sauce in a pasta of your choice. Of course there are some amazing pasta recipes on our blog, and I’m at times, partial to the pesto, but an arrabbiata is always my first choice, always!
I’ve been making this recipe for years now. On most Sundays, my parents would ask me to make a big pot of pasta with the crunchiest veggies in a tomato based sauce for a hearty brunch. Now my father is a very picky eater when it comes to trying anything that is not Indian, but this pasta sauce has worked for him for it is tangy and a different kind of spicy. It remains one of the most requested dishes in our house!
Oh and it’s vegan! I don’t use any cheese in it to maintain the lightness in taste. If you’re not vegan, you can add some grated parmesan on top if you wish. You can also customise the sauce by adding butter, ricotta cheese or chicken tenders. The possibilities are limitless!
I call it chunky because I like to use a lot of onions in the sauce. I prefer using different seasonal vegetables along with the sauce that make it a wholesome meal but am often restricted to what’s available in the fridge. Broccoli, bell pepper, sweet corn and mushrooms taste amazing in this pasta dish. Alternatively, a basic arrabbiata works great too with a variety of pastas.
But you know what takes it to a whole different level? A crispy breaded chicken breast on top! (Recipe to follow soon!)
This recipe serves 3-4 people and takes around 35-40 minutes.
2 big cloves of Garlic- peeled and chopped
3 small Onions – sliced
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
5 big Tomatoes- peeled and pureed
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Red chilli flakes
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 cup Button mushroom- cut into quarters
1/2 cup Bell peppers/ Capsicum- chopped
2 cups of Pasta of your choice
6 cups Water
2-3 tsps dried Oregano flakes
1/2 cup Fresh Basil leaves/ 2-3 tsp dried basil flakes
2 tbsp Red wine (optional)
1 tbsp Butter (optional)
Start by prepping the vegetables. I peeled the tomatoes using this method here before I pureed them. Peeling tomatoes is optional, I only do it when I have enough time. It does make the sauce smoother.
I used dried basil for this recipe. Fresh Basil leaves would be great if you can get them. Alternatively, you can use Pasta seasoning if you don’t have oregano and basil.
In a big wok or pan, add olive oil. Add chopped garlic, a pinch each of black pepper, oregano and basil. Give it a good stir and you’ll be able to take in the aroma of what are the base flavours of your sauce.
Next, add the sliced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat. The button mushrooms or any other vegetables that may require more cooking time than the rest go in next.
I cooked the mushroom and onions for another 4 minutes till the mushrooms sweated.
In another pot, bring water to boil. Add salt and pasta to boiling water and cook for the time mentioned on the pasta pack. I cooked a Penne Rigate variety to al dente for 9-10 minutes. Once done, drain and reserve a cup of liquid.
In the sauce, add the pureed/chopped tomatoes next followed by the salt, black pepper, red chilli powder, oregano and basil. Stir in the reserved pasta liquid and let it simmer on low heat for 7-8 minutes.
Add crushed chilli flakes and half a tsp of sugar to the sauce. The sugar is optional and is just used to balance the sourness of the tomatoes.
You can also add some red wine or a tbsp of butter at this stage. Needless to say, both add to the flavour of the sauce. Again, this is optional.
Next add the diced capsicum and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Mix in the pasta and cover the pot for a minute.
Serve hot with some garlic bread, bruschetta and love!
More pasta recipes on Kitchenpostcards: